Ensuring cyber security in day today operations is one of the priorities for railways which is moving in a big way towards technology driven operations,Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said today. Speaking at a conference attended by senior rail officials, Prabhu said that as part of modernisation and maintenance of railways, the ministry has launched several initiatives over the past three years like Rail Cloud Server and Rail Saarthi App and is working on a enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution. “We are working on a complete transformation of the railways through investment of huge amounts of money and transformation of each and every aspect of operations to make them better.
We are using high-end technology for maintenance and detecting defects in tracks through one application,” said Prabhu “So if we are doing all this and using the cyber space for digital transactions, obviously, the vulnerability of that transaction becomes very critical. “When we do everything manually, the challenge is manual error and if we are shifting from manual to technology oriented operations, then the flaws in technology or someone who can potentially hoodwink it is as high and sometimes even dangerous. So cyber security is one of the top priorities,”the minister added.
The meet on ensuring cyber security in Indian Railways,attended by Chairman, Railway Board, A K Mittal and other railway board members and senior officials, saw discussions on cyber threats, security incidents and advanced solutions. Computerisation in railways started about three decades ago and major activities like ticketing, freight operations,train operations and asset management now rely heavily on IT systems. Railways launched Rail Cloud this month, a virtual server with an inbuilt security system that will enable faster connectivity at a reduced cost. Rail Cloud technology enables maximising the usage of available server and storage resulting in accommodation of bigger data and more applications within same server space. Till now all IT applications had separate servers which increased the cost of operations and purchases. Cyber Security has now been identified as the focus area by the railways. Auditing of IT Systems by Standardisation Testing and Quality Certification (STQC) and close coordination with Indian Computer Emergency Response Team(CERT-In) are some of the steps taken by Indian railways.